How to handle negative comments on social media

Social Media Strategies

For several years, Bob Warren has volunteered to help veterans see war memorials in Washington, D.C.

Social media is a must for almost any business, but handling negative comments is a big concern for many business owners. Use these steps to combat negative comments on social media in a positive, proactive way.

social-media-dislike-shutterstock_4064175911. Address the situation

One approach many companies take is not dealing with negative comments at all. However, ignoring them will not make them go away. In fact, the more you ignore them, the more the complainer will complain. Similarly, deleting the comment doesn’t do much good either. More often than not, the person will notice you deleted his or her comment and keep commenting until he or she is no longer ignored. It is best to reply within 24 hours with a sincere and apologetic response.

2. Offer a solution

Apologizing and offering a positive solution is a great way to turn a disgruntled customer into a brand enthusiast. The person most likely just wants to know he or she has been listened to and that you as a business are doing what you can to make the situation right. If the individual didn’t enjoy his/her meal, offer a complimentary lunch for next time. If someone experienced poor service, apologize, thank him/her for the feedback and promise to do better next time. These simple solutions will go a long way in positioning your brand as customer-focused.

3. Take the conversation offline

The worst thing you can do when you receive a negative comment or complaint is to argue back. Adding fuel to the fire by arguing with the customer will do no one any good. Even if you believe the comment is unjustified, remember that a big part of social media is about customer service and that the customer is always right. After you address the situation and offer up a solution, take the conversation offline. Offer a direct contact, email address or phone number for the person to reach out to directly.
Most people just want to be heard and adding these three steps to your social media strategy will help ensure a positive customer experience for your business on social media.

-Amanda Bell is a social media and PR specialist at Waukesha-based branding agency z2.

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